Makes: 4 servings
Time: About 45 minutes
Sweet, saucy, and warming. Wonderful over rice pilaf, or white or brown basmati rice. For extra flavor, start with whole cumin, coriander, cardamom, and cinnamon and toast and grind them yourself. Recipe from How to Cook Everything.
1/4 cup peanut or neutral oil, like grapeseed or corn
1 whole chicken, 3 to 4 pounds, trimmed of excess fat and cut into 8 pieces, or any combination of parts
1 large or 2 medium onions, sliced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
1 tablespoon chopped or grated fresh ginger or
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon cayenne, or to taste
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 cups yogurt
Chopped fresh cilantro leaves for garnish
1. Put the oil in a deep skillet with a lid or a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. When hot, add the chicken, skin side down, and brown it well, rotating and turning the pieces as necessary; the process will take 10 to 15 minutes. (You can skip this step if you like; heat a tablespoon of oil and go directly to cooking the onions.)
2. When the chicken is nicely browned, remove it from the skillet and turn the heat down to medium. Pour or spoon off all but a tablespoon of the oil. Stir in the onions, along with some salt and pepper. Cook, stirring, until the onions soften, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, ginger, and spices, along with 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper. Cook with the onions, stirring, until very aromatic, 2 or 3 minutes. Stir in the yogurt, then return the chicken pieces to the pan.
3. Cover and cook over medium-low heat so that the mixture doesn’t boil, turning the pieces every 5 minutes or so, until the chicken is cooked through,10 to 20 minutes (longer if you skipped the browning step); it’s okay if the mixture curdles a bit. The bird is done when an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh reads 155–165°F. Taste and adjust the seasoning, garnish with cilantro, and serve.